Best of 2016: Surfcasting Edition
There were quite a few why's answered for me this year. Why am I obsessed with any and every fish that swims within casting distance? Fishing, especially surfcasting, its mystique, challenge and intrigue can take up an awful lot of space in your head.
Over the next few weeks I'll be posting about what was nothing short of a spectacular season from the beach and boat.
With a 4yr old fishing buddy that's very specific on tides, moon, and ice cream truck routes as to when he wants to fish, I really have to carve my time out and often quantity wins out over quality. Sunset with poppers then maybe a few tins is my routine for a big chunk of the summer. More times than not I'm posting a sunset pic on instagram instead of a fish.
In the spring and fall I'll tweak my times and pay candy bribes to my partner to agree to come fishing with ice cream a few blocks away. I'm trying every cast but when the bite's on it's more than therapy, recharging batteries, listening to the waves, or taking in a crazy orange and pink sky. That swimmer, or 8 other plugs I bought at the shows over the winter finally makes sense to throw. That retrieve and twitch timing video I watched 145 times on youtube comes into play. That fish I dropped 2yrs ago comes back for its bi annual haunting.
Fish and free time, and friends somehow came together in early November. We were 2 weeks out from a super moon, good push of N/NW wind at our backs. I was glad my buddy didn't listen to me a few months ago saying I thought the non resident East Hampton pass was pricey. I could smell the bunker where Montauk Highway splits at Hither Hills.
Had all the essentials lined up in the back of my truck. My ride was barking orders to be a minimalist in the IGA parking lot, and as I closed the tailgate I felt like I was evacuating my cabin on a sinking ship grabbing for essentials that weren't essential.
They already had fish a few hours earlier and when I asked if there was bait around, the sweetest answer.
Third cast at the first stop I was in. Big, nasty, pissed off bluefish on a Guides Secret bunker pattern popper. Nice pushing the gear to the levels they were made to master. Everyone was on. I was, my buddy was, our other buddy was, the guy we thought was mugging our spot was, the guy that just bought a rod and reel at Paulie's and was fishing in jeans was on.
"Let's catch 2 more each then see what's going on west of here."
It was that good that the plan made sense, and wasn't hypothetical. Gannets put on a show way out of casting distance, and blitzes were every 75 yards. If you've ever been blessed with a few solid hours of blue skies and big fish in Montauk, you could imagine what it was like for a guy experiencing it for the first time.
The bite slowed, the wind that recalibrated normal casting distance laid down, my buddy's wife texted. The world that existed outside of the shangri-la of the last 7 or so hours was knocking on the door.